On the eve of my baptism, now almost five years ago, I and the others who were to be baptised that Easter were gathered in the office of our parish priest. Seated behind his desk with a big book in front of him, he wrote down our names and the baptismal names we chose. After some deliberation, I had decided on the name of the saint who, fittingly, is also the patron of our cathedral: Saint Joseph, foster father of Jesus and spouse of the Blessed Virgin.
Why St. Joseph? There are several reasons, several characteristics of him that appeal to me. First there is his familiarity: I had been coming to the cathedral that bears his name for some 18 months already. Secondly, although not a single word spoken by him is recorded in the Bible, his actions speak to me: his all too human doubts, which are then taken away by his overruling faith and confidence in the Lord. His personal doubts and questions are ultimately less important than his faith and love, expressed in the care he takes for his family.
St. Joseph’s faith and love are things that I want to try and copy in my own life. He is an inspiration to me and an example, hence my choice of him as my baptismal saint. I pray that he may continue to pray for me to the his foster Son, that his intercession may always be a shelter and guiding light in my life, as he has been time and again.
O glorious St. Joseph, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary ever Virgin, and the head of the holy family. You have been chosen by Christ’s Vicar as the heavenly patron and protector of the Church founded by Christ. Therefore it is with great confidence that I implore your powerful assistance for the whole Church on earth. Protect in a special manner, with true fatherly love, the Pope and all bishops and priests in communion with the See of Peter. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life, and grant that all peoples of the world may follow Christ and the Church He founded.
Dear St. Joseph, accept the offering of myself which I now make to you. I dedicate myself to your service, that you may ever be my father, my protector, and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me great purity of heart and a fervent love for the spiritual life. May all my actions, after your example, be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the divine Heart of Jesus, the immaculate heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death.